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Anorak | Jeremy Marks And His British Saviour Neil Fraser: Interview

Jeremy Marks And His British Saviour Neil Fraser: Interview

by | 25th, December 2010

ANORAK caught up with Neil Fraser. He’s the British / Canadian Google programmer who read on Reddit about the hideous treatment of Californian teenager Jeremy Marks at the hands of a zealous, fearful police force and biased judiciary. He stepped in. His actions led directly to Marks being freed.

Neil Fraser, posted $50,000 bail to get Marks out of the Pitchess Detention Center. He tells us:

I’m a dual citizen of Britain and Canada. The US justice system is horrific. At least in Britain when you are kettled it’s only for a few hours. Whereas here, if you are poor it is indefinite detention without charge.

On the other hand, the United States does have the best legal system (and health care system) in the world – if you are rich.

In many ways the US is like a modern version of Victorian England, but with the added dimension of race.

He’s not kidding:

An August 2003 Bureau of Justice Statistics analysis shows that 32 percent of black males born in 2001 can expect to spend time in prison over the course of their lifetime. That is up from 13.4 percent in 1974 and 29.4 percent in 1991. By contrast, 17.2 percent of Hispanics and 5.9 percent of whites born in 2001 are likely to end up in prison.

Why?

Mr Fraser also put $1,500 toward Marks’ defense, which was matched by Google. He explains.

The donation matching was automatic, so there was no conscious corporate involvement.  Google’s engineering culture (both charitable and business) encourages solving problems at large scales, so as a company they would be more likely to address a root cause, rather than offering assistance on an individual basis.  However I don’t have Google’s resources, so helping individuals is all I can afford.

If everyone did that…



Posted: 25th, December 2010 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink